RIP Kemal Merkit

Discussion in 'Racing' started by Brodovitch, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. luckychucky

    luckychucky Long timer

    Mar 6, 2011
    SE Missouri
    I'm saying they were both having fun, you only get to die once. Having fun is the way to go! Sorry for the family and friends. The two are blessed and the lucky ones. Short and SWEET! Be happy for them. Cheer up and have some more fun.
  2. mxmum

    mxmum Been here awhile

    Sep 20, 2011
    That is such a lovely tribute and puts in to words what the rest of us are feeling, so, so sad.:cry My thoughts go out to both familes in this sad time.
  3. Stagehand

    Stagehand Imperfectionist

    Oct 6, 2004
    That really choked me up, Doyle. It does seem unfathomable...

    Wheels to the sky, brother.
  4. Aybars

    Aybars Adventurer

    Jun 28, 2010
    Funeral will be tommorow at Levent Mosque / Istanbul on afternoon prayer around 16:30. Religious ceremony is just a tradition, so all friends are welcome without any hesitation.

    A video after accident...
  5. BRO63

    BRO63 BRO

    Sep 23, 2009
    R.I.P Wouter Vaarkamp !
  6. Flood

    Flood F5lood.

    Oct 18, 2005
    Only today I read that Kemal seems to have graduated high school in Austria; I miss meeting him even more now. Here's a (bad) photo I took of him going by at the Central Europe Rally in '08.


    According to the video, Tina Meier was at the scene of the accident as well.
  7. A_KLR97

    A_KLR97 Adventurer

    Sep 29, 2010
    Istanbul, Turkey
    RIP Kemal Merkit and RIP Wouter Vaarkamp.

  8. Brodovitch

    Brodovitch Team ⌘R

    Nov 15, 2010
    Athens, Greece
    Friend and fellow Serres competitor Andreas Glavas is at the TransAnatolia on reporting duties for a Greek motorcycle magazine, from his email this evening:

    I am in shock. I saw the internet & forum posts but I still don't know what to write. It has been 4 days now that I met Kemal, he never stopped smiling once, I gave him a hoodie from the Serres race and he hasn't taken it off since. He is constantly laughing and joking, saying how much he enjoyed last year, he would get up from his Turkish pals and come ask me to join them all the time. This morning at 6 we all got up, there was Kemal again, laughing and joking...

    What is there to say? We went to catch them at a fast dusty section in the Special, he was pushing today for a result and to lessen the difference from the first 3 days, and while everything seemed normal we were suddenly announced the terrible news. It's as they report it, he had stopped with the Italian when the Dutch kid slammed into them with no time for braking. This was a section where bikes were going at least at around 120km/h. The first riders were on the scene shortly before the ambulance, but there was nothing that could be done
  9. Robb Mc

    Robb Mc what?

    May 6, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Terrible news. Kemal was one of the good guys.

    First met him in 2006 Dakar, we helped him out with some parts..which I think every team who has run a KTM in the last 10 years has probably done.. Kemal was always wandering around the bivvy, big smile on his face, looking for this or that the other thing.. I think he even won the 450 unassisted class a few years back with one of our spare 525 motors in his bike (shhhhh).

    Godspeed my friend.
  10. zenjen

    zenjen Go Outside

    Aug 17, 2009
    Quartz Mtn. West end of the Wichitas
    Sad day in the rallye world.

    R.I.P & Godspeed to Kemal Merkit and Wouter Vaarkamp.

    Condolences to all their family and friends.
  11. neduro

    neduro Addict Super Moderator

    Jul 8, 2003
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I'm heartbroken to hear of this. Kemal, to me, represents the Dakar even more than the front runners. Determination, perseverance, and courage.

  12. biggles0449

    biggles0449 Been here awhile

    Sep 30, 2008
    West Africa / UK
    I saw this news first thing this morning and couldnt believe my eyes. I never had the pleasure to meet Kemal, but since my first introduction to rallying through Patsy Quick, he has always been talked about by her, as a true gent and the spirit of rallying.

    Wouter was a really nice guy, who i had the pleasure to race against this year at Tuareg, many days we were neck and neck, and had some good banter on the start lines. Such a waste of a young talent.

    RIP guys.
  13. ian408

    ian408 Administrator Administrator

    Apr 12, 2003
    Santa Clara, CA
    Very sad news.

    RIP to both riders and condolences to their families and friends.
  14. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

    Jun 12, 2003
    Gates of Moscow
    Well said. He was exactly what I thought Dakar was about.

    Vaya con Dios, Sir.
  15. lastplace

    lastplace Been here awhile

    Nov 10, 2003
    San Francisco
    Kemal was always in an infectious good mood. Even in the thick of rally challenges, he brought a positive boost to everyone he met. Working unassisted on his bike, mooching parts, picking over broken bikes; he still had time to smile and say hello. It was obvious that Kemal loved rallying and was having fun. Most riders, like him, made big sacrifices to participate. Few of them enjoyed it as much as him.

    Touring in Turkey in 2002, I needed a crank rebuild for my KTM 620 Adventure. The KTM shop in Istanbul looked questionable, but they had a poster of Kemal on a similar bike at the finish of his first Dakar. They had helped him, so I trusted them with the work. (The bike made it home and the crank lasted quite a few miles before it broke in Baja.) I took one of those posters and kept it in my garage. Kemal looked down from the poster as we prepped for many Dakars as if to tell us, "If I can do it, so can you." He was probably my biggest inspiration for keeping at it, especially the first few times.

    We'll miss him.

  16. neduro

    neduro Addict Super Moderator

    Jul 8, 2003
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I pulled into the finish of Stage 2 this year, and who was standing there but Kemal. I couldn't wait to shake his hand- he has always been an inspiration to me. I rushed over to say hello.

    Little did I expect that he would know who I was, from my posts here. We shook hands, laughed about the stage, and I was relieved to hear him say that he found the stage difficult. We rode the liaison into the bivouac together, and from that moment forward, he always had a smile for me whenever we crossed paths. That's not saying much, though, he had a smile for everyone!

    For me, Dakar is at least as much about toughness as speed. Every competitor is tough, but the marathon riders are toughest of all, and Kemal was toughest of them, the best I could tell. We shared some stories on the night of the marathon stage, I believe Robb's stories above are the least of his willingness to do what it takes to finish the race. But his efforts, even when they were extra-legal, were never outside the intent of the race, never in violation of the spirit. Always, he was looking forward to the next day.

    I'm heartbroken for the young man who died as well...

    When I step back, the question "why" has to be at the top of the list. I firmly believe that races like these are how people transcend trudging thru life and find meaning, not only for those who are out there but also for those of us at home, dreaming of the pink lake.

    A great life isn't counted in minutes any more than great music is. It earns value from the risks taken and dreams realized. Kemal was a great because the notes he found in life struck a chord in himself, and in so many of us. The page he wrote on carries risks, to remove them would silence the music before it was ever sung.

    Thanks for the tunes, Kemal, and I'll miss you.
  17. crankshaft

    crankshaft Guns are for pussies

    Aug 12, 2004
    Very Well put Ned, very well put. I was always more interested in where Kemal was during the Dakar, because like many have already said, He was the true spirit of the race. Not many people understand why people take these risks and it's their loss. Still very sad, was looking forward to seeing more of his exploits.
  18. pebble35

    pebble35 Long timer

    Dec 14, 2007
    Jersey, Channel Islands
    I spotted the news of this on Facebook earlier today. And saw this thread this evening.

    Been reading through everyone's comments and thoughts and don't really know what to add.

    Like many of us I never met Kemal or even spoke to him. But I felt that I knew him through this forum. He epitomised the true spirit of the Dakar for me - a privateer rider competing without assistance in the toughest race in the world yet always managing to smile and have time to help others.

    RIP Kemal and Wouter. Thoughts and condolences go out to your families and friends :cry:cry:cry
  19. redbaron@

    redbaron@ Advrider

    Aug 28, 2011
    Ankara, Turkiye
    Rest in peace. İ am so sad, such a big loss!

    Allah rahmet eylesin
  20. pasha

    pasha Adventurer

    Aug 2, 2007
    NY area
    I'm deeply saddened to hear loss of Merkit and Wouter.... Rest in Peace & God bless your souls.... Still my mind doesn't want to accept it.....